BRISTOL, Va. - Emory & Henry College announced Tuesday that it is taking over Virginia Intermont College's equestrian operation and facilities, which will now be known as Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College.
In making the announcement, E&H President Jake Schrum said that the College is proud to be able to carry on the 40-year tradition established by the nationally celebrated equestrian program. “We are excited to be adding to Emory & Henry’s national reputation for excellence a program that has earned stellar recognition for excellence in equestrian competition.”
The announcement was made at the state-of-the-art riding center previously used by Virginia Intermont. Emory & Henry has taken over the lease of the center, which is located on a 129 acres of rolling pasture land north of Bristol.
Emory & Henry is currently recruiting both current Virginia Intermont students and new students to the competitive riding program, which has won 17 national championships. The most recent title was the 2014 Intercollegiate Dressage Association Championship this past April.
Emory & Henry has hired three former Virginia Intermont employees to serve as faculty members and coaches for the program as well as eight staff members formerly with VI. The College also has acquired Virginia Intermont’s horses and equipment.
In addition, Emory & Henry is applying to its regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), for approval to offer Virginia Intermont’s academic equine studies program, which prepares students to work in many areas of the horse industry through course work that combines science, equestrian management and riding instruction.
“This academic program, which will provide opportunities for both scientific student research and pre-professional training, fits well into the E&H curriculum, which encourages both undergraduate research and real-world experience,” said Dave Haney, vice president for academic affairs at Emory & Henry. “In addition, the quality of teaching that comes with this program is consistent with the high quality of teaching offered at Emory & Henry.”
Dr. Patty Graham-Thiers, a former Virginia Intermont professor now working at Emory & Henry, said she is excited that the VI program has found a new home with Emory & Henry. “We look forward to carrying on the tradition, utilizing the same faculty, facilities and horses that have contributed to the program’s success.”